Sunday, October 17, 2010
Mediate magic again. Pro from Pittsburgh cards 4 eagles with hole outs...one per round, and captured the Frys.com Open at CordeValle
He gained folk hero status with his U.S. Open duel with Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines in 2008, that ended on the 91st hole. Today, the engaging 47 year old who grew up in Pittsburgh idolizing Arnold Palmer, accomplished something that "The King" never did...holing out for eagle 4 times in the same tournament. Rocco Mediate's final miraculous shot came on the 17 hole at the Frys.com Open in San Martin, California when his approach shot on the next to last hole ended in the cup on his 2nd shot of the par 4. He aced the par three third on opening day, and did his magic on the 4th hole day two, #15 yesterday, and then today draining a pitching wedge from 116 that sealed the deal
Rocco Mediate was leaking oil at the turn, but found the his touch heading for home to score his first win since 2002 on the PGA Tour. Bo Van Pelt and Alex Prugh each made birdies on #18 forcing Rocco to drain his par putt from 4 feet to avoid a playoff, but calmly made it to capture the Frys.com Open. His 269 total was 15 under par, earning the pro from Pittsburgh $900,000 and exempt tour status until his Champions Tour career begins in less than 3 years.
A steady rain is adding drama as the leaders head for home with wire to wire leader Rocco Mediate having his troubles on the front nine. The gregarious 47 year old is 3 over through 9, finishing the front with a 3 putt from 12 feet. Meanwhile, Alex Prugh is even par today and has pulled with 2 of Mediate. 4 others are 3 behind. Rocco who has just bogeyed number 11, so his lead is now down to one.
A great finish for a first time PGA tour event in San Martinis shaping up, yet very few fans are here to fawn over some of the world's best golfers. Lots of sports competition today for Northern Californians...Giants-Braves in game 2 of the NL Championship, the Niners and Raiders will slosh at Candlestick...there's even another LPGA tournament in Danville to splinter sports fans...but a drizzly morning didn't help the Frys.com Open. Early on, Rocco Mediate has dropped a shot to par through 3 holes, and his lead is two over playing partner Bo Van Pelt. Ricky Fowler looms at 12 underpar and 4 behind Mediate, joined by Alex Prugh on the leader board. UPDATE: Double bogie for Van Pelt on #4 so Fowler and Prugh are Rocco's nearest challengers.
Ricky Fowler on the prowl chasing Rocco Mediate. The 21 year old is destined to be pro golf's next Superstar.
He will be the face of the PGA tour for year's to come. You can't miss his swing daily in the Mercury News sports section touting Ricky Fowler's appearance at the Fry.com Open at CordeValle in San Martin. He's mature way beyond his years (a golf version of Madison Bumgarden), hits prodigious shots with uncanny accuracy and will be a key component in golf's future. There are other "young lions" on the PGA circuit like Japan's Ryo Ishikawa who at 19 plays mostly on the Asian tour. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland's 21 year old sensation. But Ricky is All-American. He's articulate, focused and has proven he can handle the pressure. Plus, the girls also love him. Fowler enjoys substance to his being, and doesn't appear he'll go down the road other millionaire athletes have traveled. Once he gets his first PGA tour win, the sky is the limit for this remarkable talent.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
The PGA tour is happening locally, but "Giant's Fever" is dwarfing the significance of the event coming to San Martin. The course, nestled on the east side of the the Santa Cruz mountain foothills. It's the Frys.com Open, and despite a fine field and the great outdoors at a tremendous venue, it's spectator numbers are low, providing a fine experience for golf fans wanting to get close to the action. Plenty of action today, and Rocco Mediate held on to his 3 shot cushion as when the day began, but now Bo Van Pelt is the nearest challenger. Ricky Fowler, the 21 year old Ryder Cup sensation seeking his first win is in the hunt 6 back, with Alex Prugh and Ryuji Imada in between on the leader board. Mediate's putter was not as deadly today, but he still managed a 4 under 67 as he's in position to go wire to wire. The Frys.com Open is a John Fry creation. He plans to move the PGA tour stop to his private course The Institute. A few of the pros in the field have played the Championship course 10 miles away and rave about it's condition and the speed of the greens. They also comment that the speed is fair because of mathematic intelligence that factored into each green. John Fry's Institute Course is only played by a select few invited guests. CordeValle is a member's resort, and more than prepared to host a PGA Tour event.
He hasn't won on the PGA Tour since 2002, but gained folk hero status with his epic U.S. Open battle with Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines. Rocco Mediate took Tiger to the limit, and despite losing by a shot on the extra day playoff, his fun loving, engaging personality shined. That same attitude and game has been on display this week at the Frys.com Open at CordeValle. At 17 under par after today's 67, Mediate's nearest challenger is Bo Van Pelt 3 back with a pair of other pros 5 shots off Rocco's pace.
CordeValle Resort in San Martin is hosting it's first PGA Tour event this week, and the gregarious Rocco Mediate is on top the leader board turning for home in round 3. Mediate, who dueled Tiger Woods into an extra round of action at the 2008 U.S. Open has been struggling since and needs a top finish here to maintain his PGA tour card. Rocco's 4 shot lead has shrunk to one over Bo Van Pelt, but has a 3 stroke advantage over Ryuji Imada, Dean Wilson and Alex Prugh who has birdied his last 5 holes. Mediate is in the middle of the 13th fairway.
The easygoing everyman Rocco Mediate is putting better than ever, his back feels fine, and his game is solid here at the Frys.com Open at beautiful CordeValle Resort in San Martin, California. With rounds of 64 and 65, Mediate who aced his 3rd hole of the tournament and has only one bogey in 36 holes has a three shot cushion over Ryuji Imada. A 45 minute fog delay didn't bother Mediate as he birdied his first hole, as did his entire leading threesome, Now at 14 underpar, the cooler dampish conditions should result in softer greens and even lower scores here on day 3 of Frys.com Open.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Off to a good start, after a birdie on his 4th hole put him in red numbers, Issac Weintraub ran into some problems going bogie-bogie-double. . We pick him up on the 18th hole (his 9th of the day) after hitting one stiff to within 3 feet. His front 9 was a struggle, losing 5 more strokes to par. His 8 over par round of 79 places him in 128th place, and would need to go low tomorrow for a chance to crack the top 60 and make the cut. Regardless, the San Jose State grad plans to go to Q school with hopes of earning his PGA Tour card for next season
A couple weeks ago, he aided Corey Pavin in Wales as assistant captain of the U.S. Ryder cup team. Today he carded a 6 under 65 at CordeValle in San Martin, Ca. The humble pro from So. Ca. is quite familiar with layouts like this one in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains between Gilroy and Morgan Hill. At age 46, Goydos who joined the "59" club earlier this season feels his game is actually improving, and silently is hoping he can be on the Ryder Cup team in a couple years when the event returns to the U.S.
CordeValle Resort in the countryside of San Martin, California is hosting it's first ever PGA Tour Event. 71 pros shot par or better in the opening round, with Rocco Mediate setting the pace. The man who had one of the most classic duels in golf history with Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open has regained his form after a couple years of putting woes. The always engaging Mediate owns a one shot edge over 3 others, with 4 players just 2 shots off the pace. Rocco's back feels great, his fitness is fine, and his flat stick is working.
This PGA Tournament is here in San Martin, California for the first time. It's here primarily because of John Fry, the founder of Fry's Electronics. The event will move to Fry's private course "The Institute" just a few miles from here in 2-3 years, but CordeValle is a superb countryside course that provides a great test for many of the World's greatest players. Granted, not the biggest names are here with this being an end of season tour stop, but plenty of the games best are in the field. Paul Goydos who served as co-captain at the recent Ryder Cup matches in Whales shot a 6 under 65 this morning and shares the lead. Goydos who shot a 59 on the tour this year is one of the late 40's players in the field which includes several stars from the Champions circuit including Tom Lehman, Michael Allen and Tom Pernice Jr. Many of the young lions are here as well including Ryder Cup star Ricky Fowler. Many players in the field are jockeying for a top 125 money winning mark to earn a PGA tour card for next season. Other are here to protect their standing in this $5 Million purse event with $900,000 going to winner.
Troy Mattison who won the Frys.com Open twice at different courses, returns to defend. Half the field is still on course in 90+ degree heat with the greens firming up.
He shot a 66 to qualify, smoking a field of 18 pros last month at CordeValle in San Martin, California, earning his way into today's opening round. The Santa Cruz native and San Jose State grad, has been laboring on the Asian and Canadian Tour...but caught lightning in a bottle with his medalist performance on this same course. It's 90+ degrees at the picturesque countryside CordeValle Resort between Gilroy and Morgan Hill, but Issac has been around the block, and is ready for elements. Competing against this caliber of player however, is a new experience. Golf's biggest names are absent, but players like David Duval who was first to tee off, Rocco Mediate, Rory Sabatini, John Daly, Justin Leonard, and defending Champ Troy Mattison are just a handfull of the pros with pedigree. Weintraub has been in a constant search to find sponsors, so he can compete and show his stature in the game. This week is his opportunity of a lifetime and we'll give you a glimpse of his first PGA tour round in a later post.